--THE STORY BEHIND TRUMP'S DEAL WITH CARRIER TO KEEP 1,000 JOBS IN THE U.S.: Kip Glen was at work at the Carrier facility in Indianapolis on Tuesday night when the news began to spread that the company had reached a deal with President-elect Donald Trump that would save about 1,000 jobs that had been ticketed for Mexico. “The spirit of the workers went straight up,” Glen told ABC News, “because [Trump] did what he said he was going to do and he went through with it. And he hasn’t even slept in the Oval Office yet.” ABC’s JAMES HILL has more: http://abcn.ws/2gz1O0r
--TRUMP HITS THE ROAD FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE HIS ELECTION today traveling to Indiana and Ohio with Vice President-elect Mike Pence. Trump’s first stop comes in Indianapolis where he will visit a Carrier facility to tout a deal struck with the company to keep around a thousand jobs in the state instead of moving them to Mexico. This evening, Trump launches his USA Thank You Tour in Cincinnati, Ohio -- a swing state that was critical to his victory in November, ABC’s ARLETTE SAENZ notes.
--SARAH PALIN UNDER CONSIDERATION FOR CABINET: Palin is under consideration for secretary of veterans affairs, a close Palin aide and a top Donald Trump transition official tell ABC News. The Palin aide tells ABC News that in “recent days,” Palin told Trump transition officials: "I feel as though the megaphone I have been provided can be used in a productive and positive way to help those desperately in need.” The VA is the largest government agency with over 300,000 federal employees and a budget of $182 billion for 2017, reports ABC’s SHUSHANNAH WALSHE. http://abcn.ws/2gW6xga
--ANALYSIS -- ABC’s RICK KLEIN: Donald Trump, we’re now told, plans to extricate himself from his businesses as he attends to the larger affairs of running the nation’s business. Except, it would appear, when those new presidential efforts are actually smaller. Trump’s announcement that the Trump-maligned Indiana business Carrier would keep some 1,000 jobs in the United States was met with cheers among workers – cheers that will continue on Trump’s victory tour Thursday – for whom this means real jobs stay in place. The details are critical: The company cited “incentives offered by the state” that are not yet clear, and this appears to be a prime example of the kind of corporate welfare conservatives have come to loathe. (If the “crony capitalism” charge needed evidence, consider that Carrier is a major defense contractor, and the deal to keep it in Indiana was negotiated by sitting governor, who also happens to be the vice-president-elect.) Economies, even large companies, do not rise or fall on the weight of 1,000 jobs staying, while others still go. But Trump’s play here is as real as those jobs themselves, and for Trump and his supporters, this looks like an early promise kept.
SPEED READ with ABC’s ADAM KELSEY and VERONICA STRACQUALURSI
PAKISTAN: TRUMP TOLD PM HE WILL 'ADDRESS AND FIND SOLUTIONS' TO COUNTRY'S 'OUTSTANDING PROBLEMS'. The government of Pakistan provided a readout of a phone call between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Donald Trump Wednesday claiming that the president-elect heaped praise on the Pakistani leader, describing the South Asian nation and its people as "fantastic,” writes ABC’s JUSTIN FISHEL. According to the readout, Prime Minister Sharif called Trump and "felicitated him on his victory." The readout said President-elect Trump told Prime Minister Sharif "you have a very good reputation" and "you are a terrific guy ... doing amazing work which is visible in every way." http://abcn.ws/2gMHS9L
TRUMP SAYS HE WILL SEPARATE HIMSELF FROM BUSINESSES 'IN TOTAL.' President-elect Donald Trump Wednesday teased a "major news conference" in mid-December, during which he said he will discuss how he plans to separate himself from his vast business empire and lead the country. In multiple tweets, Trump said his children will appear with him at the news conference in New York City on Dec. 15. He previously vowed to hand off his businesses to his three oldest children — Donald , Ivanka and Eric Trump — when he assumes office and has repeatedly asserted this constitutes an effective blind trust, writes ABC’s ALEXANDER MALLIN. http://abcn.ws/2fDM1kc
NOTED: CLINTON'S POPULAR VOTE LEAD OVER TRUMP GROWS. It's been more than three weeks since the November 8 general election, but ballots are still being counted -- and Hillary Clinton's popular vote lead over Trump continues to grow. According to figures released by The Associated Press on Wednesday, Clinton received 64,874,143 votes, while Trump received 62,516,883 votes -- a difference of 2,357,260. Converted into percentages, Clinton has won 48.1 percent of the vote so far, while Trump's share of the vote so far is 46.4 percent. More from ABC’s DAVID CAPLAN: http://abcn.ws/2gN5ta6
HOW THE LAW PROTECTS FLAG BURNING IN THE UNITED STATES. President-elect Donald Trump wrote on Tuesday that anyone caught burning the American flag should face consequences -- including having their citizenship yanked or facing a year in jail, according to his tweet. The act is considered offensive by many, but flag burning is legal in the U.S. under Supreme Court rulings that it is constitutionally protected speech under the First Amendment. It was not clear what sparked Trump's tweet, but it comes after a college in Massachusetts took down an American flag on campus during protests of Trump’s victory after a previous flag burning incident. ABC’s JAMES KING and GENEVA SANDS have more: http://abcn.ws/2gKVv99
PELOSI WINS RE-ELECTION AS HOUSE DEMOCRATIC LEADER. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi held onto her job leading House Democrats yesterday as her caucus re-elected her to the position -- despite rumblings from inside and outside the caucus that change and fresh ideas may be needed after a disappointing November election. The Democratic caucus voted 134-63 in favor of Pelosi, notes ABC’s MARYALICE PARKS and ARLETTE SAENZ. Pelosi was challenged by Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), who has argued that younger members with a vision for expanding the party's economic message and geographical outreach is key to future electoral and legislative success. http://abcn.ws/2gFdykO
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT STEVE MNUCHIN AND WILBUR ROSS. Trump this week tapped former Goldman Sachs executive and hedge fund CEO Steve Mnuchin for the position of treasury secretary and billionaire investor Wilbur Ross as his nominee for secretary of commerce. Over the years, Mnuchin has been a Hollywood producer and a Democratic donor, notes ABC’s ALANA ABRAMSON. http://abcn.ws/2glTUcY Ross, 78, made a fortune restructuring failed companies in the manufacturing and steel industries, among others, earning him the moniker, the “King of Bankruptcy.” He is chairman and chief strategist of the equity firm W.L. Ross and Co. Ross is hailed as a hero by some for saving failing industries but critics have likened the business practice to being a "vulture investor," though Ross himself disdains the term. ABC’s ALEXANDER MALLIN has more: http://abcn.ws/2gVXlbD
@davidaxelrod: So far, give @realDonaldTrump credit for assembling a diverse Cabinet, mixing billionaires with just plain multi-millionaires.
@anniekarni: Ivanka claims she wants to use her First Lady-like platform to speak out on the issue of...climate change: http://politi.co/2gJkgqe
@JenniferJJacobs: Putin says he’s ready to work with Trump’s administration on an equal basis, urges joint effort to fight terrorism https://t.co/fbLumLnDD3